Tens of thousands of rail commuters face rush hour chaos on Monday evening after a catastrophic track failure outside Waterloo station.
Engineers have been carrying out emergency repairs to a section of track near the station, causing major disruption throughout Monday to trains travelling into and out of the station.
The disruption affecting South West Trains services is expected to last for the rest of the day.
Network Rail said the track defect had forced the closure of platforms one to four at Waterloo, with platforms five to seven also blocked to allow work to take place safely.
A spokesman added that disruption will continue until about 11pm.
The following routes will be cancelled:
- London Waterloo to Dorking
- London Waterloo to Hampton Court
- London Waterloo to Chessington South
The following routes will be amended:
- London Waterloo to Weymouth departing at 05 minutes past each hour will call additionally at Woking
- London Waterloo to Weymouth departing at 35 minutes past each hour will call additionally at Clapham Junction and Basingstoke
- Weymouth to London Waterloo departing at 03 minutes past each hour will call additionally at Basingstoke and Clapham Junction
- Weymouth to London Waterloo departing at 20 minutes past each hour will call additionally at Woking
During Monday morning’s rush hour all suburban trains into Waterloo were cancelled, South West Trains said.
Photos emerged on social media showing passengers packed onto the platforms at stations outside central London including Woking and Surbiton after trains were forced to terminate early because of the disruption.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “A track defect over a set of points has blocked platforms 1 to 4 at London Waterloo. This means the number of services running to and from the station will be reduced.
“Engineers are currently working to rectify the issue, resulting in platforms 5 to 7 being additionally blocked to allow safe working.
“Trains across the South West Trains network may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 minutes or revised.
“We anticipate a good service will be operating by approximately 11pm.”
He added that tickets may be used on Great Western Railway, Southern, Thameslink services between London Blackfriars and Wimbledon, CrossCountry services between Basingstoke and Southampton Central / Bournemouth, London Underground and London Buses.